Got a loaf of bread that’s going bad? Want to save money at the grocery store? Then try making your own toasted breadcrumbs! It’s incredibly easy to do, saves you money, and reduces waste.
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Breadcrumbs are a staple for any household that cooks. I know we use them a lot for meatballs and breaded chicken. They’re also a great crunchy topping, coating, or mix-in for dishes like meatloaf, casseroles, or macaroni & cheese.
So when our bread starts to go bad, naturally, we make breadcrumbs.
Homemade breadcrumbs are so quick and easy to whip up. Between that and making croutons, there’s really no reason for bread to go in the trash. That’s is a huge plus, because we’re all about reducing waste!
Want help making your own loaf of bread?
You can use any bread product you’d like, though you may have to tweak cook times. Whenever possible, I like to use our own homemade bread, so I know exactly what’s in our breadcrumbs.
Step One: Toast Your Bread
Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F. Once the oven is hot, lay your bread out directly on the oven racks. Fill it with as much bread as you want. Roast it in the oven until completely dry and golden brown.
This can be as little as 30 minutes (if you only have one rack of bread), all the way up to 60 minutes (if you cram the oven full). I found it took almost an hour for the amount of bread pictured above to be completely dry, all the way through.
Step Two: Prepare for the Crumbing
Now break your toasted bread into smaller pieces, so it’s easier to grind. I just tore it apart by hand. As you can see, the bread only turned golden brown on one side, so beware of that when you’re toasting it.
Step Three: Grind Your Bread
I found that the best way to get an even grind was to use a food processor and a strainer. While grinding up batches in the food processor, occasionally stop and sift the crumbs through a strainer, as pictured below.
This allows you to send the big chunks through again, while not over-processing the smaller crumbs. Continue grinding until all the bread has become breadcrumbs!
At this point, you can leave them plain (which is what we do) or add additional seasoning to the mix. Because they’re completely dry, we’ve found that they kind of keep indefinitely. We always use them fairly quickly and they’ve never gone stale.
It’s really that simple! Whether it’s a way to save money or live more sustainably, it’s so easy to do that I recommend everyone give homemade breadcrumbs a try.
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Homemade Toasted Breadcrumbs
- Food Processor
- 1 loaf bread
- Preheat oven to 250° F
- Once the oven is hot, lay bread slices directly on the oven rack.
- Toast for 30-60 minutes, or until bread is completely dry and golden brown.
- Break toasted bread slices into smaller pieces.
- Grind in the food processor.
- Occasionally stop to sift breadcrumbs through a strainer.
- Send large bread chunks back through the grinder.
- Store in an airtight container.
Elbert Jones says
My mother put excess bread in a cake pan in a turned off gas oven. the oven pilot light was sufficent to dry them after three days. then she grated them with a manual grater.
That’s a fabulous alternative, if you have a gas stove. They would definitely have a lighter consistency, more like panko, and it’s a great energy saver.